21st Century Sales Misconceptions

I’ve been out and about this week and had several conversations with business owners and managers that (I write this with love in my heart.) are confused and don’t get it.

A regional sales manager for an international consumer products wrote, “Our meeting is going to be centered around using technology more and how we can engage our customer base through Facebook etc. I am not the “Hi-Tech” guy….”. It’s not about technology. It’s about knowing where your customers are ‘hanging out’ and being there with an interesting piece of information. It’s also not something that happens overnight. So, a gradual, benchmarked plan for adoption will lower resistance from the salespeople and insure success.

A small consumer services business owner in Maine was proud of the fact that they ranked very high for their niche when Maine or ME were in the search terms and resisted the notion that her prospects weren’t always including location and were using other search words. She insisted that she didn’t care about anything other than Maine. Interestingly, most of the business in her industry done with Maine consumers was done by large, national firms and she wasn’t getting found.
Finally, I almost always ask people where they’re getting their business now and the most common answer, by far, is referrals from satisfied customers. Most salespeople are taught how to get referrals, but now it’s time for marketing to learn how to get referrals. Look at this picture. Can you see how this picture is a great illustration of how the 21st Century sales funnel works. See marketing leads? See referrals? See the pool of prospects?
I told one person that “…the internet will make some people millionaires this year and drive others out of business.” There are 12 steps to Sales & Marketing Integration. Do you know what they are?

One thought on “21st Century Sales Misconceptions

  1. I have to agree as I see it quite frequently. If you can’t get referrals, you need to stop and figure out why. I know I go out of my way to tell others about the great businesses that I have found. There’s no need to share mediocre companies and they are a dime a dozen.

    Thanks for the great blog!

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